The Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), the leading bus transport company in Lagos State has successfully transported 10 million Nigerians in 10 months of its operations. This disclosure was made in Lagos on Thursday 19, March 2020 by Mr. Idowu Oguntona, the company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, after a commemorative bus ride with the 10-millionth passenger of the company from the Ojodu-Berger Terminus to Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island.
The 10-millionth commuter, Uwuadileke Chinedu, was identified before the trip commenced and was given a one-month free bus pass at a short commemorative ceremony at the bus terminus.
Oguntona, who was accompanied by senior management staff of LBSL, some commuters and guests during the trip, gave company’s scorecard and assured stakeholders that its best was yet to come.
He further assured commuters who use the Lagos Bus Services of its commitment to excellence as the gold bar of its operations by moving them to their destinations timely, conveniently, comfortably and at affordable fares.
Oguntona assured Nigerians that the company’s long term goal is to help in making Lagos a livable city where most car owners do not see the need to put their cars on the road during business hours as they can count on Lagos Bus Services to transport them to their desired destinations within the City of Lagos.
Oguntona said, “As part of our efforts to facilitate intermodal transportation in Lagos State, we collaborate with LAGFERRY to ensure seamless movement of people, and we are ready to work with other sister organisations to ensure that the Sanwo-Olu administration’s blueprint for the transport sector is realised.
The Greater Lagos we envisage with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a smart city where a resident can get of home, ride on our bus, get on a ferry link a train and still return home in a bus, all in a day’s journey. It is no longer a dream without a date. It is now a realisable goal in our life time.”
Oguntona further disclosed that the company has been growing organically, tripling its fleet from 50 buses in May 2019 to 150 high capacity buses by December 2019 as part of efforts to improve public transportation in Lagos State. Additional 65 high capacity buses were deployed and seven new major routes opened in February for the use of commuters affected by the restriction order placed on motorcycles and tricycles in some parts of Lagos.
Oguntona also stated that LBSL transports 80, 000 passengers daily on its 15 routes and has such has been able to achieve the significant feat of effectively transporting 10 million passengers in 10 months since 2019 while creating jobs for hundreds of people. He also disclosed that plans were afoot to introduce more high capacity and mini-buses into the company’s fleet to serve more commuters across the state.
“LBSL is a key player in the Traffic Management & Transportation; Health and Environment component of the THEMES agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We have created jobs for over 700 Lagosians, with about 87 per cent of the staff being bus captains, operations staff and technical staff. We have also empowered Lagosians for employment through our driving school that successfully produced 1,969 certified high capacity bus drivers in 2019,” he said.
The MD further thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for government’s support and expressed LBSL’s readiness to collaborate with more public agencies to address public transport needs of Lagosians.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State and the need for relevant organizations to embrace precautionary measures, Oguntona disclosed that the company is putting in place, necessary measures to minimize exposure to the virus in our buses.
In his words, ” As we speak now, the use of sanitizers in all our stations is now compulsory. This is in addition to provision of Thermometer already deployed across our stations to check passenger’s Temperature before they board our buses, to contain the spread of this virus and ensure that users of LBSL are safe and protected.
“Apart from this, we have educated our staff and we’re extending the same information and sensitization to our users on how to be safe in our buses. We ensure our buses are cleaned properly and disinfected regularly and we advocate a general personal and environmental hygiene for everyone”
The lucky 10-millionth commuter, Uwuadileke Chinedu, thanked the LBSL for its kind gesture, disclosing that it was a pleasant surprise as he never knew the company intended to reward anyone on a day like this.
“Lagos Bus Service has been a blessing since I started patronizing them. Comfortable, convenient and reliable all the time. And with this special milestone and recognition, I go dey follow you…” Chinedu concluded singing and dancing.
Afrinvest Sees Fortunes in MTN, Airtel Stocks
Analysts at Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited have made case for investing in the shares of MTN Nigeria Plc and Airtel Africa Plc, saying their current prices are undervalued.
In report , Afrinvest said the telecommunications sector in Nigeria remains the fastest growing, the most resilient and the largest contributor to the economy’s growth.
They noted that despite this, the sector is not at its full capacity yet, given weak broadband penetration at 37.8 per cent and the huge prospects for mobile money under the right regulatory framework.
They noted that these opportunities drive their optimistic outlook for the sector despite weak macroeconomic conditions.
According to the analysts, the major pressure point for the industry has been regulation, with NCC’s heavy regulatory fines and policies to ensure fair competition restraining the growth of some major players.
“ Similarly, regulation has restricted the expansion into other business lines with strong prospects such as financial services, unlike in markets like Kenya and South Africa. We believe the speed and flexibility of regulation would shape the trajectory of growth and investment in the sector,” they said.
They noted MTNN and Airtel Africa Plc have market share of subscribers at 37.3 per cent and 27.2 per cent respectively.
The two companies have also continued to invest in telecommunications infrastructure to boost capacity and deliver superior services to customers, with annual capital expenditure of about N617.4 billion and N580.7 billion respectively over the past three years.
“With regulators loosening previously rigid rules and providing to telcos an even better opportunity to deliver financial services, we see another pathway for strong growth reminiscent of historical levels in the medium-term. The immediate worry is the unprecedented economic crunch brought by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, which could affect 2020 earnings. However, the industry is expected to remain resilient as the digital economy has boomed during the lockdown implemented to fight the pandemic,” Afrinvest said.
It said that in its analysis shows that that MTNN (10.6x) and Airtel Africa (4.0x) are undervalued with an average P/E multiple of 7.3x compared with BRICS markets such as Brazil (11.6x), Russia (13.3x), India (13.4x), China (48.5x) and South Africa (12.5x).
“Put together with our positive outlook for the sector over the medium-term, we believe the opportunity is attractive. Based on our valuation of MTNN and Airtel Africa Plc, we arrived at a target price (TP) of N147.67 and N419.53 per share respectively, compared to N115.00 and N328.70 in that order as at yesterday.
Amazing Entertainment & Education Shows for Kids this Weekend On DStv
On DStv, the kids are in for a jolly ride, with so much to learn from and be entertained with. Every day we help them find a balance between learning and playing. Here is a bit of what they can look forward to in the coming days.
This weekend for the Premium customers on M-Net channel 101 is Storm Boy airing this Saturday 11 July 2020 at 4:00 PM. It tells the story of a boy’s lonely life with his reclusive father on a desolate coastline, who forms a close bond with a pelican bird, Mr. Percival, his life will take a new and unexpected turn.
For DStv Compact Plus customers is Totally Rubbish is an art show with a difference which airs on Da Vinci channel 318. In each episode presenters, Michelle and Nigel come up with great ways to use rubbish to make art and create great tricks. They visit famous artists for inspiration and learn to see the world through their eyes. This weekend, Michelle and Nigel use rubbish to make a fashion folder, a phone holder and a mock mess and they check in with Vincent Van Gogh. Get the kids busy this Sunday 12 July at 11:00 AM.
On CBeebies channel 306 is Dog Loves Books. This pre-school animated series is based on the award-winning book by Louise Yates and introduces a sweet, funny double act of bold adventurers. Dog is a dog of few words. Pug is a dog of many words. Together they form a delightful duo who like nothing better than getting into a good book. Showing Monday 13 July at 4:45 PM.
DC Super Hero Girls are more than crime-fighting besties, they’re a diverse group of dedicated super-teens! Working together, they fight the battles of Metropolis and the battles of growing, up all at the same time. Showing weekdays at 5:30 PM on Cartoon Network channel 301.
Visit the website or download the MyDStv app from the iOS and Android stores for more information and self-service options.
Pantami Inaugurates Committee to Increase Broadband Penetration by 2025
Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated a Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), to accelerate the attainment of the country’s broadband penetration to 70 per cent by 2025.
Dr Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja, said the current 40.18 per cent penetration should be raised to improve the contribution of the sector to the nation’s GDP.
“If you look at the contribution of technology to our GDP, what we have achieved in the first quarter of 2020 is unprecedented, the contribution is 14.07 per cent.
“So this is a clear indication that the more there is proper penetration, the more the nation’s GDP will increase.
“Part of the plan is that we are targeting at least 90 per cent of our population in Nigeria to have access to broadband, so we are targeting 70 per cent penetration by 2025,” he said.
The minister said before now, the broadband penetration was 31 per cent but based on the recent report released by the NCC, the broadband penetration had now increased to 40.18 per cent.
According to him, it represents almost 10 per cent penetration in less than a year.
He explained that the new Broadband Plan, 2020-2025, was designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria at a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas.
Pantami said the aim was to ensure effective coverage of at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390:00 per 1GB of data (i.e. two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).
According to the minister, the plan is being tailored in line with the pledge by President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“The plan will accelerate the aspiration of the country, as it leap frogs with the rest of the developed world toward the widespread deployment of 5G technologies, even while it is yet to achieve significant 4G coverage and adoption.
“With the 14.7 per cent contribution to the nation’s GDP, Nigerian government believes that rapid rollout of broadband services will address various socio-economic challenges faced by the country.
“Some of the challenges include: to grow its economy, create jobs, rapidly expand the tax base, and improve digital literacy and educational standards,” he said
He added that the current plan was to ensure the deployment of nationwide fibre coverage to reach all state capitals and a point of presence in at least 90 per cent of local government headquarters.
According to him, it also targeted to reach tertiary institutions, major hospitals in each state and 60 per cent of base stations by 2025 at statutory rates of N145 per meter for Right of Way (RoW).
He said that the ministry’s engagement with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum had inspired several state governments to adopt the N145 per meter and a few of these states had waived the fee altogether.
“President Buhari has also directed the security agencies to protect all critical national infrastructure,” he said
On jobs creation, Pantami said that the fibre to the Home Council Europe, a 25 million EUR investment in information and communications technology, including smart grid and broadband, would create or retain 700,000 jobs.
The minister noted that out of the figure 360,000 would be small business jobs.
He said that higher standard of living and socio-economic development had caused the growth of e-health, e-education and e-government, among others.
He, however, mandated the committee to ensure effective monitoring and implementation of the plan.
“You are expected to adopt the Broadband Plan as your working manual; you should become very familiar with the 100-page document.
“I believe that a combination of the knowledge of its content and your subject matter expertise will enable you to provide a catalyst for innovative solutions to the implementation of the Plan.
“I often state that no Policy or Plan can implement itself.
“As such, it is critical to ensure that an adequate level of monitoring and feedback are integrated into your activities,” he said.
In his remarks, Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), thanked the Minister for putting the committee together and urged it to work in synergy with other related agencies.
Mr Ubale Maska, chairman of the Committee, who is also the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, explained that broadband was the centre of any digital economy of a country.
“We are humbled to be members of the implementation committee responsible for steering the National Broadband Plan (NBBP).
“We express our commitment to bring to bear our wealth of experience for the successful implementation of the plan,” he said.
Other dignitaries at the occasion includes Mr Kashifu Inuwa, director general of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, managing director of Galaxy Backbone.
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